The College has had two students test positive for Covid-19, one on the main college site and one on off-site accommodationLouis ashworth

Two students at Queens’ have tested positive for Covid-19.

One of the students who tested positive for the virus is living on main-site Queens’ accommodation.

The discovery of the positive cases last Saturday (26/09) has prompted Queens’ to instigate their Test and Trace system developed over the summer. As a result of this 25 individuals were told to isolate, with 15 of these individuals now no longer isolating after negative test results - some of which were returned within 24 hours.

Public Health England “aim to return test results within 48 hours of a swab being taken, or within 72 hours for a home test” so the Queens’ system has a particularly quick turn-around time.

The College reports that all those required to isolate are being supported by a College established network of ‘self-isolation supporters’ alongside friends and other household members. According to the College the role of the supporters is to “reassure and support the individual concerned in self-isolation by keeping in regular contact.”

While the main campus of Queens’ has a high population density, they also have one of the highest proportions of en-suite bathrooms making the isolation process somewhat simpler.

A member of the household of one of the students who tested positive was scheduled to return to Cambridge on October 1st. However, after the positive test result they were contacted by Queens’and informed that they could not return to College until October 9th.

In the meantime the student was expected to find an AirBnB at their own expense. This cost the student between £350-400.

In response to this issue a Queens’ spokesperson drew attention to the Emergency Student Support Fund. The Fund, established over the summer, has received donations amounting to over £200,000 from alumni, Fellows and friends.


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The Fund, according to the College website, is designed to “support Queens’ students affected by this crisis through the 2020-21 academic year”. The spokesperson reported that areas supported by the fund include “quarantine accommodation, particularly for international students”, “assistance with increased travel cost”, and “enhanced bursaries” for undergraduate students.

Other actions the College has taken to mitigate the risks of Covid-19 include the introduction of a one-way system around College, the wearing of face masks and social distancing between different households.

The news of the positive cases in Queens' comes amidst concerns about the return of students to universities, particularly from the University and Colleges Union. Outbreaks have already occurred in Manchester, where 1,700 students are currently locked down, and Nottingham, amongst others.